Feb 14, 2020
Geraldo Rivera Donald Trump Podcast Transcript: Donald Trump Talks Ukraine, Roger Stone, and More
Donald Trump joined Geraldo Rivera on his podcast “Roadkill With Geraldo” where he talked about a variety of topics including the Ukraine call, the Roger Stone case, and that he would vote for a gay president. Read the full transcript
Geraldo Rivera: (00:00)
Hi, everybody. It’s Geraldo Rivera reporting. This is Roadkill, my podcast, my weekly podcast, where we encapsulate some of the great events of the day and tell you how I feel about them from my position in the middle of the road. I had an old boss who said the only thing in the middle of the road is roadkill. Hence, the title. Today, a very special edition of Roadkill: an exclusive interview with Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, a friend of mine, and he was very gracious with his time in a wide-ranging interview. So fasten your seatbelts. Here is the President of the United States in our exclusive interview.
Speaker 1: (00:43)
Roadkill, which Geraldo Rivera.
Donald Trump: (00:49)
The state of our union is stronger than ever before.
Speaker 1: (00:56)
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce a person I am proud to call a friend. He is the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Mr President, thank you so much. We are honored that you’re calling.
Donald Trump: (01:09)
Well, I’ve known you for a long time, Geraldo, and it’s been A lot of good times.
Geraldo Rivera: (01:15)
Lot of good times, and I appreciate that you honor the friendship. It really … It’s terrific. I know, because I know you, what a gut punch impeachment was for you, but I’m not sure that … Heart to heart. You’ve expressed that feeling of assault, of insult. Why don’t you share that with us? What was that like for you?
Donald Trump: (01:39)
Well, it’s a terrible thing, and I think of Nixon more than anybody else and what that dark period was in our country and the whole thing with the tapes and the horror show. It was dark, and it went on for a long time, and I watched it. I watched Ronald Reagan where they were very close with Iran-Contra, and that was very dark. He went through that for years and never really got over the spell. It was dark, but not … Nothing like Nixon. I would always think … Every time in the White House I pass this beautiful portrait of various presidents. Right? But the portrait of of Richard Nixon, I sort of … I don’t know, it’s a little bit of a different feeling that I get from looking at the other portraits of presidents. And I got impeached for no reason whatsoever. Partisan, totally partisan; based on a perfect phone call, a totally appropriate phone call that was even said by the other party to be perfect. The President of Ukraine. And it was a disgraceful act by Nancy Pelosi and these horrible people, and I had to fight it off, and-
Geraldo Rivera: (02:41)
Let me ask you about Nancy Pelosi. She says that, no matter that you are acquitted, you are impeached for life. And she says it in a way that is almost gleeful, almost sadistic, in a way, that you’re impeached for life. Do you feel, Mr. President, that you are impeached for life?
Donald Trump: (02:56)
No. She’s a person that started an impeachment and lost, so she goes down as a loser, which she is. Nancy Pelosi was a … It was said, statistically, if you watch the way she said that, with the hatred and the venom coming out of her ears … You just take a look at that. The hatred that was pouring from her when she said that. My wife was sitting there and watched it, and she said, “Oh my, that was horrible. The way she said it was so bad.” It’s interesting that you picked it up. Some people did, some people didn’t. It wasn’t just the words. It was the, the craziness. And then to have her sitting behind me at the State of the Union mumbling all night long, mumbling. Talking to me but under her breath, not actually [crosstalk 00:03:43]-
Geraldo Rivera: (03:44)
And then tearing up the copy of the state of the union-
Donald Trump: (03:45)
And then tearing it up, and I think they lost very big. Our poll numbers are through the roof and everything else. But I will say that, for my family, it was a very tough thing. Me, I’m so busy that I literally … It just made my job so much busier, and yet we’ve accomplished more than any president in his first year, three years that we’ve ever had, Geraldo. I mean, you can go to anybody. And nobody’s done what I’ve done in three years, and I had this whole cloud of bad people making up things. I mean, it was terrible. And to see-
Geraldo Rivera: (04:17)
Let me get to the bad people in a second. But what about the first lady of the United States? How difficult was this for her, this whole saga that you’ve been through?
Donald Trump: (04:26)
Well, it was hard, especially since they knew I did nothing wrong. I did absolutely nothing wrong. Everybody knew it. Romney knew it, too, by the way. You know that was a disgrace. And he knew it. He was going to vote with us. Everywhere was saying “No, he’s good, he’s good.” Then he went into a cage, and he … He went into a cage with … I guess they held it. He did an interview with your friend Chris Wallace, and nobody knew what the interview was about, but it was previous to the vote, and he’s always got … He did a handle. He did a Twitter handle with a phony name on it so he could criticize people without using his name, so he could say things great about himself. He had tweets about how great he is.
Geraldo Rivera: (05:12)
You’re talking about Mitt Romney?
Donald Trump: (05:14)
And they- I’m talking about Mitt Romney, how crazy .that was. And he got caught. But no, that was a disgraceful [crosstalk 00:00:05:19]-
Geraldo Rivera: (05:21)
You don’t think it was his religion? You don’t think that was a sincere-
Donald Trump: (05:23)
No. No. I don’t think that at all. They did reports that he didn’t … He brought up his religion very seldom. And all of a sudden he brought up his religion. When did you hear him bring up his religion? They did a report in one of the main papers that he very rarely brought up his religion. No, I don’t think so at all. Look, I got 52 and a half votes out of 53. I got 52 and a half. And I guess if it was the religion, he should have voted for the other half. You know, he voted on one positively and the other negatively. He should’ve probably, if it was his religion … Should have voted on both, if you think about it. But no, I don’t. He’s just a bad guy. He’s a jealous, angry person who’s a stone cold [crosstalk 00:06:01]-
Geraldo Rivera: (06:03)
You think that was a reaction to your not giving him the Secretary of State job?
Donald Trump: (06:08)
No, I think we just had our difficulties. I thought he should have won against President Obama in his second term. I thought that should have been easy. I don’t … I’m not a McCain fan. Never was, but I didn’t think he could have possibly won that one because he was handed over sort of a rough time in terms of many different things. And first African-American. I thought that the whole thing was really stacked against McCain. And, again, I’m not a fan, but I never said he should’ve won. But the second, the Obama-
Geraldo Rivera: (06:37)
You just put up a president …
Donald Trump: (06:37)
The Obama first term-
Geraldo Rivera: (06:39)
What about Obama and the people that say that the economy booming today is because of Obama?
Donald Trump: (06:44)
Well, let me get this first. The Obama first term was a disaster. The Obama second term was okay. Mitt Romney should’ve beaten Obama, and he should have beaten them easily, and I would have beaten him more easily than I beat Hillary Clinton. As far as the Obama doing … He took over something that was a mess but rather easily fixed, so you can get some pretty good numbers. It’s the slowest recovery we’ve had since the Great Depression under Obama, and now the recovery is a monster. And I will tell you a big part of our recovery, bigger even than the tax cuts, were the regulation cuts, which they would never have done. They were going to put more regulations on. If Hillary Clinton had got elected, instead of 30,000 … We’re almost up to 30,000, which is going to be a record. We’re 20-
Geraldo Rivera: (07:35)
On the Dow, yep.
Donald Trump: (07:35)
20 on the Dow. 29,342 as of this moment. So we’re just [inaudible 00:07:40] … Nobody thought that would even be possible. And don’t forget, they’re trying to take credit for that big spread. If you look at the spread, when I won, the market went through the roof. Had I lost, the market would’ve gone down tremendously. But when I won, the market immediately … You remember that big day right after the victory? Well, you can’t really give credit to them for that. That has to go to me. I say I should get credit from election day, but President Obama-
Geraldo Rivera: (08:05)
Are you worried that the boom … Mr. President, are you worried that the stock market and the big economic boom are imperiled because of this corona virus spreading epidemic, and … You know, China’s closing for business. They’re not buying cars from Europe right now. Everything is … Everybody’s in a panic. You’ve got those four people stranded on that cruise ship in Japan. Are you worried about this virus affecting … I mean, obviously, you’re worried about the virus and people getting sick, but what about the economy as another victim of the [inaudible 00:08:38].
Donald Trump: (08:37)
Well, we’re working on it very closely. I spoke to President Xi two days ago. They’re working on it very professionally. It’s a problem. We think and we hope, based on all signs, that the problem goes away in April because … which is not too far down the road … because heat kills this virus. We think. Now we’re going to find out, Geraldo, but we think. And they are having difficulty in China, but they’re working very, very hard. We’re working with them. We’re sending a lot of people, and CDC has been great, but it’s a problem in China. Has not been spreading very much and, in our country, we only have basically 12 cases, and most of those people are recovering and, some cases, fully recovered. So it’s actually less. But-
Geraldo Rivera: (09:25)
Did the Chinese tell the truth about this?
Donald Trump: (09:27)
Well, you never know. I think they want to put the best face on it. So I mean, if somebody … If you were running it, you’d probably … You wouldn’t want to run out to the world and go crazy and start saying whatever it is because you don’t want to create a panic. But, no, I think they’ve handled it professionally, and I think they’re extremely capable. And I think President Xi is extremely capable, and I hope that it’s going to be resolved. Again, the April date is very important, but this is a big thing. The April date is very, very important because, if that’s the case, if heat does in fact kill … That’s when it starts getting hot, and this virus reacts very poorly to heat and dies. So we’ll see what happens.
Geraldo Rivera: (10:08)
What about a … Closer to home, you’re talking about behaving professionally. You threw out Colonel Vindman and his in his brother. I’ve been in the West Wing, and my feeling, just the vibe that I got and from what I hear is, the whole place is … It’s a nest of vipers and snitches and backstabbers and rats. Why do you tolerate … How many people [crosstalk 00:10:37]-
Donald Trump: (10:35)
Well, I inherited-
Geraldo Rivera: (10:37)
Donald Trump: (10:37)
I inherited a place with, you know, many different administrations, and they worked there for years and were civil service and with unions and all of it. You can’t do what you’d like to do. In addition, you want to give people chances. The fact that they come from Obama or they’re Never Trumpers from Bush, or whoever it may be, and then you go back, and you have people. You have Clinton, and you want to give people time. No, but Vindman … If you look at what his person said about him … Morrison, who I think is a very good man, he said terrible things about Vindman. No, I didn’t want him in. I watched his testimony. Don’t forget, he was the one that thought my call was bad. And he ran in and started saying, oh, terrible things about the call. And then when I released the transcript, that call was perfect. And I say it again. It was perfect. It was totally appropriate. And it wasn’t one call, it was two calls. They were both perfect, appropriate calls. And nothing earth-shaking there. So ridiculous.
Geraldo Rivera: (11:35)
Why are so many people allowed to listen to your phone calls, anyway?
Donald Trump: (11:38)
Well, that’s what they’ve done over the years. When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely. I may have. I may end it entirely. Sometimes you have 25 people. Now you have [inaudible 00:11:48]. You have Secretary of States. For instance, Mike Pompeo was on the call. He found the call to be perfect. He found the call to be absolutely fine. With many people on the call … The only one. This guy ran and said he didn’t like to call. First of all, that’s very insubordinate. Why wouldn’t he go to his immediate … He went to Congress or he went to Schiff or he went to somebody, but Vindman was the guy that, when we took him out of the building, the building applauded. I don’t know if you heard that.
Geraldo Rivera: (12:16)
I did not. That’s interesting.
Donald Trump: (12:17)
The whole building’s … There are a lot … Many of the people in the building started applauding. No, I’m not a fan of Vindman. I’m not a fan of what … I’ve never … I don’t think I’ve ever met him, by the way. Just so you understand, many of these people I’ve never met, but I’m not a fan of Vindman. No question about it.
Geraldo Rivera: (12:31)
You know, one person may-
Donald Trump: (12:32)
And even if it just based it on what Tim Morrison said, I would not be a fan.
Geraldo Rivera: (12:36)
We both have known Roger Stone for decades. To me …I mean, I’ve always thought he was kind of a pain in the ass, to tell you the truth, but I was very disappointed at his conviction, and I was horrified at the proposed a seven to nine year sentence. I just heard from a guy who heads the PBA here in Cleveland. He just had a guy shoot someone in the head. They got seven years. Roger Stone didn’t hurt anybody, didn’t steal a dime. He’s looking at seven to nine year sentence. It was terrible. It was really an overreach. But was it appropriate for you to get involved, and you worried that the independence of the Justice Department is threatened?
Donald Trump: (13:16)
These were Mueller people. The whole Mueller investigation was a shakedown and a disgrace. It probably should be expunged because, to be honest with you, the dossier now, everybody knows it was fake. Everything was based on the dossier. The dossier now is totally fake. They used the dossier, knowing it was fake, to get FISA warrants. That means they got FISA warrants illegally. That was where they did the whole situation with the Mueller Report. Much of the Mueller Report … And even these attorneys, I know at least a couple of them were Mueller people. What they did to Roger Stone was a disgrace in terms of everything. Right from the beginning, 29 FBI agents loaded up with the most powerful rifles and machine guns. They attack him early in the morning. His wife, who has a tremendous hearing problem, virtually no hearing. They barged into their bedroom. This is early in the morning, CNN following them, so they were obviously alerted. Nobody’s been able to figure that one out, and they should be able to figure it out.
Donald Trump: (14:22)
It’s real easy to figure it out if they wanted to. CNN was following them. CNN taped it all. And how would you like to be Roger Stone? And yet, if you look at Podesta’s brother … Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, look at the brother. Was it Tony Podesta?
Geraldo Rivera: (14:40)
Donald Trump: (14:40)
But look at the brother. He was Paul Manafort on steroids. He was the biggest one or one of the biggest in Washington. They found him doing many bad things. He was forced to leave his firm. He was going to be … I don’t know … It was going to be a very serious day the following day after he left his firm. You understand what I mean by that? Very bad day for him. Nothing ever happened to him. Nothing ever happened, and then you see that they put a guy like a Paul Manafort in solitary confinement.
Geraldo Rivera: (15:09)
Oh, it’s awful.
Donald Trump: (15:10)
Al Capone. Listen to this, Geraldo. Al Capone, you say he was about as tough as they come, right?
Geraldo Rivera: (15:16)
Donald Trump: (15:17)
Al Capone was never placed in solitary confinement. El Chapo, I don’t think was placed in solitary confinement, but Paul Manafort was put in solitary confinement by the judge that’s actually-
Geraldo Rivera: (15:29)
Why don’t you pardon him and Roger Snow?
Donald Trump: (15:32)
Well, I don’t want to talk about pardons right now, but I think it’s very unfair what happened to a lot of people. A lot of people. In the meantime, James Comey is walking around making book deals. And, if you read that report, 78 pages of scathing, scathing, horrible words about him, done by a man who’s, in all fairness, a Democrat named Horowitz. A scathing report-
Geraldo Rivera: (15:57)
The Inspector General of the Justice Department.
Donald Trump: (15:59)
And a very bad recommendation for Comey, and I don’t know what’s happen-
Donald Trump: (16:03)
… recommendation for Comey, and I don’t know what’s happening. Maybe they’re using that report for something cause I’ve stayed away. I have no obligation. In fact, I could totally be involved in this investigation, and some people have told me I should, but we’ll see what happens. But Comey is walking around. You look at McCabe, who is a bad, bad guy. He’s walking around making-
Geraldo Rivera: (16:22)
John Brennan, the former head of the CIA, they’re old pundits.
Donald Trump: (16:24)
John Brennan’s walking around. And, frankly, Obama knew everything. Okay? Obama knew everything. I mean, does anybody have any doubt about that? Obama knew everything. But how about [crosstalk 00:16:35] How about Struk? And how about the lover?Struk and Paige, two lovers, and they’re walking around.
Geraldo Rivera: (16:43)
That was probably the most ill-fated affair in the history of the world.
Donald Trump: (16:48)
That was the worst coverup.
Geraldo Rivera: (16:48)
Let me ask you about Robert Mueller though. A lot of people thought that he was past his prime, to be kind, and some other things about him. But I never heard anyone call him a liar until you did a couple of days ago. What did he lie about?
Donald Trump: (17:00)
Well, he said in Congress that he never applied for the job of the FBI director. And now it’s been proven that he did. He came into my office along with numerous other people, including Chris Reay. They all came into my office over a two day period. I think there were five people, maybe more, but around that number. And Robert Mueller wanted to go back to the FBI. He came in as director, he wanted to be the director again. And I told him, basically, “you’ve had enough time.” And then within a very short period of time, he was appointed special prosecutor. I don’t call him special counsel because special counsel is not, it’s not an accurate term, it’s a special prosecutor. Because what he and his 13 angry Democrats, all horrible, just horrible people, what they did to destroy the lives of people that you know, but to destroy the lives of many Geraldo, should never be forgiven, should never be forgotten, and something has to be done about it. So he went in with his 13 angry Democrats, and they went in for bear. They went in to destroy people. And that’s what they did, they destroyed a lot of people.
Geraldo Rivera: (18:02)
They absolutely, I agree, they had destruction in mind. My guest, exclusively, the president of the United States, my friend Donald J. Trump. Let me ask, you brought up Democrats. Bernie Sanders looks like he’s going to be very hard to stop. First of all, what do you think about the prospect of running against Senator Sanders?
Donald Trump: (18:24)
Well, I like it. I’d like him. I’d like any of them. I mean, I think we’d be good with anybody. I think, frankly, my first choice would be Mini Mike. I think it’d be easy because-
Geraldo Rivera: (18:33)
With all the money he has, easy?
Donald Trump: (18:35)
Yeah, he’s got money, but you know, they spend $2 billion on me, Hillary Clinton, and mostly negative ads and I won. And I won really easily, if you look at it from … the electoral college, I won some States that were, I won by massive numbers. She spent $2 billion. I mean, they had a $2 billion campaign. He won’t have that much. And, frankly, he’s so deficient in so many ways that I think he’d be easier than Bernie.
Donald Trump: (19:02)
Bernie has a group … And I also think this, if a guy came in and bought the election, if they bought the democratic nomination, I really think that you’d have a revolution within the Democrat party. You had it, you had a mini revolution last time, but you would have a real … because they took it away from him last time, or at least it was perceived. She actually, she got more votes than him and everything else, so I view that a little bit differently. But a lot of people perceive that they took it away from him, but this time they would be taking it away. If a guy came in to buy it and took it away from Bernie I think you’d have a revolution within that party.
Geraldo Rivera: (19:36)
You know, you’ve got a situation with the former vice president, Joe Biden, fading terribly in the process in Iowa and in New Hampshire. He’s desperately going to South Carolina right now. Do you think that, ironically, the Democrats moving to impeach you in effect impeached Joe Biden with all the “Hunter Biden, Hunter Biden,” day after day? Did that destroy the former vice president’s reputation and his status and standing?
Donald Trump: (20:06)
Well, there’s a quote that was put in the wall street journal that she aimed at Trump and took down Biden, and that’s having to do with Nancy Pelosi. She aimed at me, there’s no question about it. And she always wanted to impeach. There’s this theory that, “Oh, she didn’t want it. She’s this great political pundit. She’s just great political mind.” She’s not. She lost the house once before. I think she’s got a good chance of losing it again. And the party’s not run by her, it’s run by the left.
Donald Trump: (20:34)
And you see that even in the presidential. You see it with Bernie. Bernie’s beyond socialist in my opinion, but we’ll have to talk about that at the right time. But no, I really think that, and I, and just to finish out on this subject, I have to say, I really believe that we are going to have a very interesting election. I think Biden is shot, he was shot from the beginning. I used to call him 1% Joe, remember 1%, because two times, but really it was three, but two times when he really gave it his best he was at less than 1%
Geraldo Rivera: (21:06)
Running for office, right?
Donald Trump: (21:09)
Yeah. And if you look, running for high office, running for president.
Geraldo Rivera: (21:12)
Donald Trump: (21:12)
He was at [inaudible 00:21:13] so I’d call him 1% Joe, and he’s going to be back at 1% Joe. It’s amazing that it faded fast, but you know, you had the whole thing of the vice presidency for eight years, and I thought in a certain way he was a good vice-president because Obama got along with him. I think one of the biggest things that happened, one of the big telltale signs of trouble, was when Obama wouldn’t endorse him early on. And that was a strange. To me it was strange. I understand sometimes they don’t, but to me it was strange.
Geraldo Rivera: (21:44)
Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer? You sorry you did that?
Donald Trump: (21:50)
Not at all. Rudy was a great crime fighter, you know that maybe better than-
Geraldo Rivera: (21:53)
Of course. Yeah. I interviewed him, I was the first one to interview him.
Donald Trump: (21:55)
And Rudy’s totally on his game. Rudy’s on his game. Rudy was a great crime fighter. You covered him for many years. And he was the greatest mayor in the history of the city of New York, far better than Bloomberg. Bloomberg took over what Rudy gave him. Rudy was a far better mayor than Bloomberg, tough and good. What Bloomberg did with stop and frisk, Rudy used it and he used it sparingly and really brilliantly. And Bloomberg came in and he multiplied it times 10. If you were a black person walking down the street you were going to be stopped and frisked under Bloomberg. And that’s why they had a revolution in New York, because of what he did. Rudy did it very sparingly. It was very, very, very sparingly and very smartly, and it had an incredible impact on guns and shootings in New York. Incredible.
Donald Trump: (22:49)
Rudy was a great mayor. Crime went way, way down. Then Bloomberg came in and he said, “Well, you know what? This thing is so good, I’m going to stop every black person.” And if you were a black person in New York, you were stopped two times a day, three times a day. You couldn’t go to your house, they were stopping you every day. What Bloomberg did to the black community was a disgrace. And then he gets up and he cries in a church, and he discards everything that he stood for. And if he gets elected I would be surprised. And I would be very surprised that when the word gets out to the black community, where I’m doing extremely well by the way, beyond what any Republican has done I guess it’s looking like, but I would be very surprised if the black community can support him.
Donald Trump: (23:35)
But what he did is he took Rudy Geraldo, he took … Rudy’s stop and frisk was done very gingerly, very smartly, really a very smart job. And he made it so vicious and so violent. And they would stop, and honestly if you were a black person you’d be stopped two, three times a day. It was terrible.
Geraldo Rivera: (23:55)
I hear that, and I wonder, it sounds like … You made a big point at the state of the union, and I’ve watched you and Dr. Darrell Scott, Pastor Scott.
Donald Trump: (24:05)
Great guy. Great guy. [crosstalk 00:24:05].
Geraldo Rivera: (24:06)
Great guy, big supporter of yours. It sounds really as if you are reaching out to the African American community. I joked on Hannity’s show that you’re almost campaigning like a Democrat in terms of the minority community. You really, do you see an opening there? Do you foresee a real change in the racial dynamic of American politics?
Donald Trump: (24:30)
Well, I think I do. And I think, you know, I have polls that show 32%, 34%. Romney got 4%, and I have polls that are showing numbers that are unheard of. And why? Lowest unemployment in the history of our country for black Americans, for African Americans, lowest in history by far. Not even close by the way. I took care of … What they have is they have black colleges and universities, right? And they’re always coming up looking for money, always. Every year for three years I said, “Why do they always come? It’s very demeaning to them?” And I got to know a lot of the principals of these schools they’re great people, the deans and the heads of the schools. I’d say, “Why do you always come up?” He said, they told me “We have to because we have no bill. We have to come up.” And then one man said, “I feel like a beggar.” And for years they come up. And I worked it out so they have, now, longterm financing. Nobody else would have done that.
Donald Trump: (25:30)
And then opportunity zones. I worked with Tim Scott of South Carolina, who’s fantastic by the way, and we did opportunity zones. And then we did criminal justice reform. They couldn’t get it. Van Jones came to my office asking me for help. He had no chance of getting it. He came in asking … well he didn’t give you the credit that he should’ve, but that’s okay, I never get credit. But what happened, he came in, he needed five senators. They happened to be Republican. He needed some senators to low key it a little bit because they were very much against it. I was able to work it out. I got senators, and I got some guys that were not in favor to let it happen. Their great guys and I very much appreciate what they did.
Donald Trump: (26:12)
We have great support in the Republican party, it’s doing great and has really tremendous unity. Other than Romney, there’s tremendous unity. And so you look, and you see, and it’s really amazing. And I got criminal justice reform. So for, and not only for African Americans, for Hispanics, for so many people that were so badly, like Alice Johnson. Geraldo, she was in jail for 22 years. She had another 20 years left for something that today, I mean, would have been, it would have in many cases, they wouldn’t have even prosecuted her. I’m not saying that’s right either.
Geraldo Rivera: (26:46)
Right. Could have been a misdemeanor, right?
Donald Trump: (26:47)
No, she was in jail. For 50 years she was going to be in jail, and I let her out. And she’s an incredible woman. And I said to her the other day, I said, “How many people are like you in jail that you know, where you were? Cause she was there for a long time. She said “Many.” I said, “Are they all like that?” She said, “No, you have some very bad people too. But you have many people that are really great people that should be let out.” I said, “Give me a list. Give me a list.” So it’s one of those things.
Geraldo Rivera: (27:14)
Well I think that what you did there is very honorable and necessary, and I totally applaud it. I’ve got a million questions here, just going to … I have to circle back to Rudy Giuliani. Why didn’t you give him a title? Why didn’t you make him like your presidential Envoy to eliminate the ambiguity?
Donald Trump: (27:28)
Well, two things about Rudy. You have to understand where I’m coming from. I was illegally spied on by Comey and Brennan, and all these, the sleaze of the world. And when people talk about Clapper, when people talk about the intelligence agency as well, I was not given a very good first glance at it. I had Comey, I had Clapper. Then we saw Lisa Paige, and we saw Struk, and we saw all of these people. By the way, how about the people that fixed the documents? How about the person that forged and changed the documents before putting them into the Pfizer [crosstalk 00:28:09] the FBI guy?
Geraldo Rivera: (28:09)
Should be in jail. Should be in jail.
Donald Trump: (28:11)
Where is he? He’s not in jail. Why isn’t he in jail?
Geraldo Rivera: (28:14)
It’s a lot worse than what Roger Stone did.
Donald Trump: (28:16)
It’s like a one-sided thing. No, no. Oh to me that’s 10 times worse than what Roger Stone did.
Geraldo Rivera: (28:20)
10 times worse. Absolutely.
Donald Trump: (28:20)
And, by the way, Randy the host, he’s a radio guy and he’s good too. He was the one that they said Roger Stone intimidated. When he heard that Roger was going to prison he said, “What are you talking about? I didn’t know you’re sending them to prison.” He didn’t know what the hell they were doing. And he said, “I don’t want him to go to prison.” And supposedly they told him, “We don’t care. We’re doing it anyway.” This is the kind of treatment that was given.
Geraldo Rivera: (28:47)
I really … you have four high level prosecutors quitting the case. Why did they even have four high level prosecutors on that stupid case? [crosstalk 00:28:54]
Donald Trump: (28:53)
I don’t think they quit the case. I think what they do is they felt they got caught, if you want to know the truth. I don’t think they quit for moral reasons. I think they got caught in the act by me. Now what am I going to do? Sit back and let a man go to jail maybe for nine years when murderers aren’t going to jail? Look, you have some of the most serious, horrible rapists and everything else, they don’t go to jail for nine years. You look at schedules, you take a look. Some of them go to jail for nothing, for no time. And then this guy is going to go to jail for nine years?
Geraldo Rivera: (29:26)
Well, you know they’re doing that to get to you, to hurt you.
Donald Trump: (29:31)
They’re doing it because they’re bad people. They’re doing it. So when you tell me about Rudy? So here’s my choice. I deal with the Comeys of the world or I deal with it. In other words, I was given a very bad taste of our intelligent departments, because I see it. They spied on my campaign illegally. Hopefully they’re not going to get away with it. We’re going to find out. Hopefully they’re not going to get away. It should never happen to another president. But they spied on my campaign. Everybody knew it, including President Obama. They spied on the opposite party’s campaign, the party that wasn’t in power. And they used everything they could, their intelligence agencies and beyond.
Donald Trump: (30:12)
So when you tell me why did I use Rudy? And one other thing about Rudy, number one, he was the best prosecutor, one of the very best prosecutors, and the best mayor. But, also, other presidents had them. You know, FDR had a lawyer who was practically, was totally involved with government. Eisenhower had a lawyer. They all had lawyers. Bill Clinton had a lawyer, he had a very good lawyer, you know who that was. They all had lawyers, and they’d do things for them. and it’s really circumventing, but very legally, and maybe getting things done faster. But Rudy is a high quality guy who, by the way, has a treasure trove of information. And he’s working with the justice department from what I understand.
Geraldo Rivera: (30:59)
All right. Let me leave the Rudy situation, it’ll be resolved. Just quickly on Attorney General Barr. Do you ever wonder what your life would’ve been like if you had picked William Barr instead of Jeff Sessions when you took office?
Donald Trump: (31:14)
Yeah. My life would have been a lot easier.
Geraldo Rivera: (31:16)
A lot of the country’s life.
Donald Trump: (31:18)
Yep. My life would have been a lot easier, but I might’ve been less popular. You know, it’s a funny thing. Somebody told me the other day,
Geraldo Rivera: (31:24)
Why would you be less popular?
Donald Trump: (31:26)
Because they say they like that I fought it. They like that I won. They like that my base is much more energized. Let’s assume none of this stuff happened, that we had a nice boring presidency right? I don’t think I’d have nearly the energy of the Republican party that we have right now.
Geraldo Rivera: (31:42)
Well that may be so, but what a ride. What a crazy ride you were on.
Donald Trump: (31:47)
Nah, nah. My life would’ve been a lot easier. Bill Barr’s a very good man doing a very good job. But my life would have been much easier, there’s no question about it.
Geraldo Rivera: (31:54)
Much easier. Is there a tentative peace plan with the Taliban, as the New York times is reporting?
Donald Trump: (31:59)
We are working on one, and we’ll see if we can get one. We’d like to bring our troops back-
Donald Trump: (32:03)
Working on one and we’ll see if we can get one, would like to bring our troops back home. They’re really, they’re law enforcement as opposed to soldiers to a large extent and we shouldn’t be there. It’s time to come home. We’re having a very good dialogue. We’ll see and we’ll know over the next week or two.
Geraldo Rivera: (32:18)
They just think they can outwait you. The longest war in history, the Taliban, they think that they give us a week of relative calm and then we’ll start withdrawing [crosstalk 00:00:29].
Donald Trump: (32:29)
Yeah, but they’d like to make a deal, too. You know what? They’d like to make a deal, too. Look, no matter how, and they’re good fighters and we’re the greatest fighters in the world. We could win that war if I wanted to kill millions of people. I could win that war quickly if I wanted to kill millions of people. I don’t choose to do that. I’m not going to kill millions of innocent people to say, “Hey, we won in Afghanistan.” It’s 19 years they’ve been in there, but we can’t use our real weapons, our power. We have tremendously powerful weapons and I’m not even talking about nuclear. I’m talking about, we have [crosstalk 00:33:02].
Geraldo Rivera: (33:02)
Is they’re a tentative deal? Oh, I hear you. I hear you. I did a lot of assignments there. Is there a tentative deal? I just need a yes or no on that. Is there a tentative deal?
Donald Trump: (33:11)
But I don’t want to kill. I don’t want to start killing… Say it again.
Geraldo Rivera: (33:11)
Is there a tentative peace deal with the Taliban?
Donald Trump: (33:12)
Very close. I think we’re very close. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal and we’ll see. I mean, we’re going to know over the next two weeks. That doesn’t mean we have one, but we’ll know over the next two weeks. Let’s put it this way. Nobody else has been able to get one and this is, and there’s also a chance that we’ll get one between Israel and the Palestinians. The toughest deal of all time. Right? They always say that’s the toughest deal of all time.
Geraldo Rivera: (33:31)
I have to say you’ve been such a loyal friend to me. I appreciate you so much. I just want you to know that even when I disagree with you, I appreciate your sincerity and I think you’re doing a great job and the economy shows it. But two quick follow, last questions.
Donald Trump: (33:49)
Thank you very much.
Geraldo Rivera: (33:50)
With the Pensacola, Florida attack by the Saudi Air Force pilot revealed to be a terrorist attack. So you’ve got a Saudi involvement there. You got Khashoggi, the journalist that they carved up in their embassy. You got the 9/11 hijack. This Saudi, Saudi, Saudi. I know that you think Iran is the evil doer in the Mideast, but is it possible that we have the wrong bad guy, that it’s not Iran, that Saudi Arabia is really the one that’s sticking it to us?
Donald Trump: (34:23)
Well, no, there were Saudis were involved in the World Trade Center much more than anybody else. When president Bush attacked Iraq, there were no Iraqis involved. There were Saudis and they went to Afghanistan to be trained. Okay. So I know what we have and frankly this guy was caught and I’m not, I like the idea of opening up cell phones and finding out who, and some very good people in New York like that idea, too. I will tell you and some very good people like that idea. And I’m for it and I’m working on that encryption or whatever you would call it. But when you open up the phone, we should open and we probably will, open up his phone because we’ll find out how many other people involved, if anybody, how many other people were involved in that horrible attack.
Geraldo Rivera: (35:08)
But do you think you can trust Ben Solomon, the Crown Prince and are these people legit or do you think they’re playing us? Are they funding all these madrassas, these religious extremists and so forth.
Donald Trump: (35:19)
Yeah. I know exactly what you’re saying. I have a very good relationship with them. They buy billions and billions and billions of dollars of product from us. They buy tens of billions of dollars of military equipment, which we use, which we actually use. They are paying us now unlike past presidents have a different theory, but they have nothing but money, nothing but cash. And they pay us now for services and for protection and other things. For instance, when they were attacked by Iran, they needed help and we sent, but they’re paying. They’re paying billions of dollars for that help. Nobody ever, you never [crosstalk 00:35:59].
Geraldo Rivera: (35:59)
But are they bad people? Double dealers though.
Donald Trump: (36:01)
No, but you have an ideology and you have some bad ones. You have some bad ones all over. Don’t forget, in Iran, they kill many, many people. You know the protests, they kill people. They shoot people with snipers. They shoot them.
Geraldo Rivera: (36:14)
Why don’t you talk to them? Why don’t you talk to Iran?
Donald Trump: (36:17)
Because in my opinion, John Kerry has made it very tough because, and I think he’s totally violated the Logan Act. John Kerry’s made it very tough because he’s telling them or he has told them, I think now he knows that we’re looking at the Logan Act with respect to him. He’s told them, “Don’t make a deal. Don’t make a deal. Maybe Trump will lose and you’ll make a deal with a stiff. You’ll make a deal with a Biden or somebody because just don’t make a deal because just wait, wait,” because it makes him look bad if they make a deal. That’s most of it in my opinion. But he’s, in my opinion, he’s violated the Logan Act and violated it seriously. And we’ll see what happens on that.
Geraldo Rivera: (36:57)
So you don’t think that you could even the back channel to Iran?
Donald Trump: (37:01)
Oh, I have plenty of back channels. Look, they are desperate to make a deal. Their economy is crashed. They’re not funding terrorism like they were. When I took over, they were a terror. There were 18 sites of confliction. Now they just want to survive. Their economy went down 25% last year. Their GDP is down so much that nobody’s ever seen anything like it. They should talk. They don’t know how to go about it. We’re going to find out. But I think they want to try and wait it out until after the election hoping that some stiff gets elected and they can have their way and take over the world.
Geraldo Rivera: (37:39)
I don’t think that’s going to happen. I got my final question. You and I were together in Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria, you were criticized every newspaper front page how you were responsible for thousands of deaths in Puerto Rico and now you have a parade of a local officials either resigning or going to jail for corruption.
Donald Trump: (37:57)
I was right.
Geraldo Rivera: (37:57)
They discovered warehouses that were unused. I want to apologize on behalf of any extent that my folks helped to slander you. It wasn’t your fault, but the island still needs help. Can you take a second look, get over the-
Donald Trump: (38:14)
I am. I love the people of Puerto Rico, you know that. What they did to me over there when remember I was passing out towels.
Geraldo Rivera: (38:22)
It was terrible. I was with you. Absolutely.
Donald Trump: (38:24)
But no, no. And we were having fun, all of us. And they were all screaming in the back, throw us here, the crowd was tremendous, right? The room was packed. You were there, you were laughing. We were all laughing. So I was throwing them towels in the back, taking basketball shots, soft towels, big things of towels that were thrown about. And they said, “Oh, it was terrible the way he was.” The people were loving it. They’re having a good time. And frankly, they just got wiped out, their homes. Everybody’s laughing. We’re all having a good time. There was love in that room and when I got home I saw like I was demeaning them by throwing towels. They were all saying, “Over here, Mr. President. Over here, over here.” You were there. Everybody was having a good time and they needed a good time. Their houses were wiped out. They were been terrible turmoil and stress.
Donald Trump: (39:08)
So no, I love the people of Puerto Rico and we are working, but I also said the corruption at the top level. I told you that what we were there is enormous. I’ll tell you what, the best friend that Puerto Rico’s ever had, Geraldo, is me. They’ve gotten $93 billion over a fairly short period of time. There is not a state in the union that’s gotten that much money. Not even close.
Geraldo Rivera: (39:29)
Why don’t you make them a state? Why don’t you advocate for Puerto Rico becoming a state?
Donald Trump: (39:32)
Well, some people want that and I guess they’re talking about that. I want to get things fixed first. But Puerto Rico has been very, very poorly run by Democrats. Very, very poorly run. Very, very poorly run.
Geraldo Rivera: (39:44)
Two quick final questions. Would Americans vote for a gay man to be president?
Donald Trump: (39:51)
I think so. I think there would be some that wouldn’t. And I wouldn’t be among that group to be honest with you. But I think that yes, I think that it doesn’t seem to be hurting Pete Buttigieg, as you say, as you would call him. It doesn’t seem to be hurting him very much and, but there would certainly be a group, but you know this better than I do. There’d be a group that probably wouldn’t, but you and I would not be in that group.
Geraldo Rivera: (40:18)
We would not. And nor would the… I just want to circle back to where I started. The first lady of the United States. I know with conversations that we’ve had, how hurt you are that the American pop cultural establishment has not embraced her. She’s not on the cover of Vogue and Cosmopolitan as she should be, Bazaar, Town and Country. What do you think about the fact that they are boycotting the first lady of the United States, and one of the most beautiful ever, most stylish ever and yet she’s so almost disrespected by the fact that they ignore her.
Donald Trump: (40:54)
So when I met her, considered to be one of the most beautiful models in the world by everybody, one of the most beautiful, one of the most elegant. And the thing I liked about her, she’d always go home at night. Everyone else was out partying all night. And some people said, “Oh, that’s not nice.” I’d say, “No, I think that’s great.” She liked to go home at night. She was a very solid person and she was very successful and really, I mean really successful but very successful. And she’s got a great heart. And yeah, I see that. She was on covers before she became first lady and now it’s like one of those things, it doesn’t bother her. She’s very, very solid. She’s an amazingly, she’s very confident in herself. Somebody that wasn’t would say, “What’s going on here?” And I’ll tell you what, our people know it.
Donald Trump: (41:43)
I would go to a rally in Ohio. I go to a rally in Pennsylvania. I went to one the other, I went to two, I mean, the one in Iowa was unbelievable. The one in New Hampshire was unbelievable. You see what’s going on. Tens of thousands of people can’t get in. They have so many signs honoring our first lady, we love our first lady. We love our first lady. The people love Melania. They love her, absolutely love her. But the press is crooked, it’s very unfair. It’s fake. It’s fake news. And they’ve really gone down in the hearts and minds of people. But the people love our first lady and she works very hard.
Geraldo Rivera: (42:19)
Well, I send her my best wishes and to you and to the rest of the family. Oh, is Don, Jr. going to run for president? The 45th, 46th president?
Donald Trump: (42:29)
I don’t think so. I think he’s just really working hard now. He does like politics. I will say that.
Geraldo Rivera: (42:32)
He does. He and Kimberly, are rocking around the country.
Donald Trump: (42:37)
They do and Eric likes politics and Ivanka is so natural at it. I don’t even know if she likes it or not. She just, you know what she does. She’s gotten 15 million jobs, training, that’s what she does. She goes to the big companies, gets them to train people, Walmart, a million people, different companies, millions of people. But she just stopped. She had a goal of 500,000 jobs when she started at the beginning. And she beat that in about two months and now it’s 15 million jobs that she does a great job. She’s another one. She doesn’t get credit for what she does and she doesn’t want it. She just wants to make people happy.
Geraldo Rivera: (43:19)
She’s an elegant and highly competent person and I’m delighted to know her and Jerry. The peace plan, I don’t know how much time you have, but the peace plan, I admire the fact that you put something together, but I did a lot of time over there and I don’t think the Palestinians are ever going to go for a deal in which they have to surrender the Jordan Valley and so much of their territory.
Donald Trump: (43:45)
Well, most people agree that a deal won’t happen. Most people agree with you and when I’m doing this, I’m giving it a shot because I’m good at it. I do it well. I have very capable people. David Friedman is unbelievably one of the most successful lawyers in New York by far. And he’s the ambassador to Israel. And Jared, you know how smart Jared is and there’s a group of people that we’re giving it a good, strong shot. There are those that say it can’t happen. In other words, just it can’t happen historically. The mindset of them plus the Jewish people, it’s just never going to happen.
Donald Trump: (44:19)
It’s interesting. Whenever you have a deal, when I was in the private sector, I’d have a deal that was really a tough deal, you’d use an expression, this is tougher than Israel and the Palestinians getting together because that was known as the impossible deal. So I’m here. That’s what I’ve done really great over my life. I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. If you look, the other day they withdrew from the committee in the United Nations, the Palestinians withdrew something and said very good statements about me. Not necessarily the deal, but about me. That was a big, that was very telltale. And I think Israel, I know Israel would like to do a deal and I think the Palestinians are going to want to do a deal.
Geraldo Rivera: (45:00)
Well, I like the idea of an American embassy, a full blown embassy with an ambassador in the east Jerusalem or somewhere else in the Palestinian territories. I think that would be a good sign.
Donald Trump: (45:09)
Well, something’s going to happen. So I think we have a real shot at doing it. And I’m not going to guarantee this one. Some deals I can guarantee. This one I can’t, but we have a good shot at doing something. We’ll see, we’ll know in the not too distant future. We were delayed by the election, the never ending over there.
Geraldo Rivera: (45:24)
The never ending election in Israel. The third time’s the charm. Finally, if I don’t ask you about climate change, my kids will be really mad at me. Why don’t you have a czar appoint someone to check out the carbon emissions and see what’s true and what’s not true?
Donald Trump: (45:39)
Well we could, but we really have great people and I always say it, we want the cleanest air, the cleanest water. We have our cleanest numbers in many years, this year. Just got released. The cleanest numbers on carbon, on water cleanliness, on air purity, on air cleanness. I want the cleanest air. I want crystal clean water and we actually are very much into it. What I don’t want to do is give trillions of dollars away on Paris Accords that go to other countries that we don’t even know where it’s going. I don’t want to do that. And that hurt our businesses where we have to close up businesses because of it. But we’re going to have the cleanest air. We now have the best, we’re the best we have ever been right now at this moment, Geraldo. And the environment means a lot to me. We’re the best we’ve ever been right now.
Geraldo Rivera: (46:29)
And finally, we started here.
Donald Trump: (46:32)
You know how many times, [inaudible 00:46:34] this is you. I have to explain to your great audience, which I hear is very [inaudible 00:46:37]. And I’m doing this because you’ve been my friend a long time.
Geraldo Rivera: (46:39)
Are you okay? I love you for it. Are you okay? Are you okay after this thing? Are you going to…
Donald Trump: (46:43)
And you just said, and finally, and finally, and finally now.
Geraldo Rivera: (46:45)
Are you going to shake off this impeachment nonsense? Are you going to move on? Are you going to be…
Donald Trump: (46:49)
I think it’s a victory. I feel it’s a total victory.
Geraldo Rivera: (46:52)
Donald Trump: (46:52)
And I think you do, too. Geraldo, I think you do, too. It’s a total victory for us.
Geraldo Rivera: (46:56)
I absolutely believe that. And I appreciate your friendship. I really do.
Donald Trump: (47:00)
Well, I appreciate yours. You take care of yourself.
Geraldo Rivera: (47:02)
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (47:04)
Thank you. Bye.
Geraldo Rivera: (47:06)
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for listening to this special edition of Roadkill. I’m Geraldo Rivera reporting.